After three fatal shootings in a span of four days, north suburban Evanston has seen as many homicides in the past week as in all of 2018 and 2019 combined.
Gun violence in Evanston isn’t new, though until the recent killings, the city hadn’t had a homicide in more than a year. According to city data, a double-homicide in July 2013 in which two brothers died marks the last time there were multiple fatal shootings in a single month.
“This snapped our streak of not having any homicides” this year, said Sgt. Ken Carter, an Evanston Police Department spokesman. “I can’t remember the last time we’ve had multiple homicides like those three.”
The most recent shooting killed Andrew Williams, 29, about 3 p.m. Sunday after two masked gunmen exited a vehicle and opened fire in the 1900 block of Hartrey Avenue, Evanston police said.
Williams was taken to Evanston Hospital, where he was pronounced dead, authorities said. He would have turned 30 on Monday. Detectives are investigating whether the homicide was retaliation for a fatal shooting the day before.
That shooting claimed the life of Deashawn Turner, 21, early Saturday in the 2200 block of Emerson Street, police said. Detectives are looking into possible rival gang violence as the motivation for the killings, Carter said.
The first fatal shooting of the three was early Thursday, July 23, when Brian Carrion, of Glenview, was shot near the CTA Howard Red Line stop, police said. He died at the scene. Though detectives haven’t ruled out gang violence as a motivator for Carrion’s shooting, the murder appears unrelated to the other two, Carter said.
Carter said police are still investigating which gangs are involved and whether they are based in Evanston or Chicago.
Evanston Ald. Robin Rue Simmons said the city has neighborhood gangs separate from Chicago’s, though they operate under a “new culture of gang violence.” An Evanston native, Rue Simmons said there’s no longer clear-cut lines marking gang territories like there were when she grew up. That makes it harder to navigate conflicts between gangs and avoid violence, she said.
“This is a concern of all of Evanston,” Rue Simmons said. “My hope is that, in this time of social awakening and consequences of the trauma of COVID-19, how it is devastating families financially and the health impact, that we absolutely have all hands on deck to address violent crimes, which are rooted in poverty.”
Rue Simmons is calling for strategic policing, community investment and mental health services, among other solutions, to address the surge in violent crime last weekend.
No arrest has been announced in any of the three Evanston shootings. Police have increased patrol to make their presence visible in violence “hotspots,” Carter said.
Evanston police detectives and North Regional Major Crimes Task Force are investigating.
In neighboring Chicago, three people were killed and 56 more wounded this weekend in shootings across the city, the lowest numbers the city has seen in over a month.